A Boston Marathon bombing survivor who calls her service dog a "miracle" was crushed when a manager at TJ Maxx kicked her out of a store because she wouldn’t confine her pooch.
College student Sydney Corcoran endured leg injuries during last year’s bombings at the Boston Marathon and has since also developed an eating disorder, sleeping problems and has symptoms of PTSD, according to the Boston Globe. The constant suffering is agonizing, but her service dog, Koda, has helped her cope.
That’s why the college student was disheartened when a manager at a TJ Maxx in Nashua, New Hampshire, told her that she had to put her dog in a carriage -- which Corcoran said couldn’t accommodate her dog -- or she would have to leave the store, WCVB reported.
Corcoran was so distraught that she left the scene.
Though it’s becoming more common for people to bring "fake" service dogs into establishments, staff members are pretty restricted when it comes to addressing people with service dogs, according to the Associated Press. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, an employee can only ask two questions: Is this a service dog? and, what is it trained to do for you?
After hearing the story, Corcoran’s mother, Celeste, who lost both legs below the knee during the attacks, went back to the store later that day to advocate for her daughter.
The manager apologized and the company released a statement to the news station on Friday saying that it is taking the "matter very seriously" and "taking actions which we believe are appropriate."
Still, the Corcorans want to take their story public to raise awareness of how critical of a role service dogs play.
"There are so many people with invisible, silent injuries," Celeste told the news outlet, "and the public needs to be aware that their service animals are sometimes their lifeline."
If you'd like to support Celeste and Sydney Corcoran in their recoveries, find out how you can get involved by visiting their Facebook page.